Freitag, 6. Juli 2018

Hanns Eisler´s 120th birthday - "Gegen die Dummheit"

Today we celebrate the 120th birthday of composer Hanns Eisler.

Hanns Eisler was born in Leipzig on 6 July 1898 and went to school in Vienna. After two years as a common soldier in the first world war, he became a student of Arnold Schoenberg in 1919, dedicating his Sonata for Piano op. 1 to his teacher in 1923. He moved to Berlin 1925, where he composed for workers’ choruses and agitprop groups, collaborating with Brecht (Die Maßnahme, Die Mutter) from 1928. 

From 1933, Eisler initially resided in Paris, Svendborg, and London, before taking exile in America from 1938, where he created his most significant chamber music works (including Fourteen Ways to Describe Rain). Alongside music for eight Hollywood pictures, Eisler also composed his Hollywood Songbook to texts by Brecht, Hölderlin, and others while in California.

In 1948, Eisler returned to Europe, initially to Vienna and Prague and ultimately to East Berlin. Although he wrote the National Anthem of the GDR to a text by Johannes R. Becher, conflict arose with GDR cultural bureaucracy when he published his libretto Johann Faustus in late 1952. Up until 1955, Eisler predominantly worked in Vienna for the Scala Vienna and Vienna Film at Rosenhügel. In the GDR, he wrote works for the Berliner Ensemble and DEFA. In 1959, he witnessed the premiere of his Deutsche Symphonie, mostly composed while in exile, at the State Opera Unter den Linden. Hanns Eisler died in East Berlin on 6 September 1962. 

The album "Gegen die Dummheit" with Peter Siche (vocals) and Klaus Schäfer (piano) was released in 1998 on Edition Apoll. Besides well-known Eisler songs it contains Die Götter, Zuckerbrot und Peitsche, Und endlich stirbt die Sehnsucht doch and Goethe-Fragment.


1 Die Götter 0:44
2 Zuckerbrot und Peitsche 2:30
3 Rückkehr zur Natur 2:06
4 Die Spaziergänge 2:18
5 Feldfrüchte 2:29
6 O Fallada, da du hangest 2:53
7 Stempellied 4:08
8 Lob des Lernens 2:01
9 Die Ballade vom Wasserrad 3:20
10 Kälbermarsch 2:00
11 An den kleinen Radioapparat 0:59
12 Der Kirschdieb 1:19
13 An eine Stadt 3:55
14 Elegie II - An die Überlebenden 2:32
15 Der Graben 2:59
16 Friedenslied 2:37
17 Das ferne Lied 1:43
18 Und endlich 1:25
19 Goethe-Fragment 1:21
20 Ardens sed virens 1:02
21 Lied von der Moldau 1:34
22 Anmut sparet nicht noch Mühe 1:43
23 (Schluß-)Spruch 0:56

Hanns Eisler - Gegen die Dummheit - Gesang: Peter Siche, Klavier: Klaus Schäfer
(320 kbps, cover art included)

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